MP Mark Warawa. Photo by Deborah Gyapong

Free speech everywhere but Parliament

  • April 12, 2013

The late-March decision to declare Private Members’ Motion-408 “unvotable” has generated a debate about the control of party leaders and the Prime Minister’s Office over what Members of Parliament can and can’t say in the House of Commons.

Introduced last September by MP Mark Warawa, the motion read: “That the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.” If passed, it would have affected no existing law, nor impelled any new law to be drafted. It simply called on the House to condemn a practice that a vast majority of Canadians find despicable...